Christmas in a marshmallow world
“Let’s have a whipped cream day!” I suggested to husband-head as I listened to holiday tunes and danced around the kitchen while baking Christmas cookies.”YES!!” he cried in agreement, joining in the dance and getting excited. “Now you’re talking, lady!”With that, I cranked up the music”It’s a marshmallow world in the winter!” the lyrics rang out. “When the snow comes to cover the ground … It’s the time for play, it’s a whipped cream day … I wait for it the whole year round!”Husband-head’s face fell when he realized I was simply singing along to a Christmas carol.I love Christmas. The day after Thanksgiving, I insist that we go out and get a tree and start decorating the house.”I’m sure the neighbors think we’re completely weird,” husband-head said after I made him string up all kinds of lights around the house and wrap the wood posts with garland – all on Nov. 25. “It’s not even December yet.”I insisted that he continue.”You know, it’s bad enough that we’re decorating way too early, but must we look like the Griswalds’ on top of it?” husband-head asked doubtfully.But I was determined to be ready for Christmas early this year.”Now we’re going to go shopping!” I informed husband-head enthusiastically.Husband-head had a pained expression on his face as if I’d just suggested that we go have matching root canals …We walked around a large big box retail store – which we won’t name – except to say that eliminating the blue polyester vests they make their employees wear might help immensely in their attempt to improve their image …”Can we go through the toy department?” husband-head asked hopefully. “I just want to see what’s in there.””Yes honey, the Furby toy is hot again this year,” I agreed. “It now reacts with emotions that allow it to display surprise and dismay.””Well then, watch this,” husband-head challenged when he found one.I instinctively knew husband-head was going to see how Furby reacted if he walked by and passed gas …The Furby toy expressed neither surprise or dismay – it simply fell to the floor.We continued down the toy aisle on our way to check-out, which I couldn’t get to fast enough.Until husband-head stopped abruptly.”What’s THIS?” he said pulling something out of a cardboard box.It was a plastic arm that was inappropriately stuffed among the display arrangement.Clearly, it did not go with the assortment of Christmas cards and cookie jars surrounding it.”That is obviously someone’s PROSTHETIC ARM!” I hissed, looking around to see if anyone was watching. “Put it back, right NOW!”Nothing doing.Husband-head began waving the flesh-colored arm around.”No, it’s not,” he disagreed. “It’s a toy and I like it. Besides, who would just take their arm off and leave it?”The same people who would abandon their husband-head in the toy department, I thought to myself.”Say good-bye to the arm,” I instructed husband-head patiently in my best mommy-voice. “If you’re good, Santa might bring you a gall bladder to play with …”Maybe normal people would have taken the arm to the lost and found, but at that point I just wanted to get husband-head the hell out of there.Eventually, I was able to distract husband-head from the displaced prosthetic and out of the store.When we got home, I made husband-head put up even more decorations outside as I wrapped up some presents.”We ARE the Griswalds!” husband-head exclaimed when he was finished. “Do you think people will think we’re weird?”Nope.We live in a marshmallow world.Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.
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In a fraction of a second I went from a full sprint to skidding across the ground — pea-sized gravel gashing my knees and elbows, turning them into strawberry crisp.